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McPicnic

Part 1 Project 2003
David Eland
Cristina Maria Leonte
University of Edinburgh Edinburgh UK
Mc Picnic
A park-and-ride facility with a series of fastfood franchises, the Gyle shopping centre car park, West Edinburgh.

Supply, demand, disgust. The project attempts to understand and improve the architecture that exists on the edge of a city- often a featureless landscape of business parks, retail sheds and roundabouts. Running through this is the verge- a mass-produced extruded strip of greenery. Creating a blurred distinction between what is natural and what is artificial- the asphalt road surface or the grass alongside? Uniting these two elements is an established way of dining- the picnic. With all seriousness this could be the basis for a new type of fastfood eatery- one at home in the edge-city. A picnic table joining a space for the car with an area of grass to sit on, boxed and extruded to accommodate the right number of customers. Signposting this extrusion at one end are the kitchens, with all their components stacked vertically- a colourful diagram of the food's production; and at the other end the toilets and waste composters- a colourful diagram of the food's digestion.

David Eland
Cristina Maria Leonte


Tutor statement

This project very skilfully navigates through a series of contentious and often contradictory conditions contained within the set brief. Many of these conditions -- such as mass consumption, globalization of leisure, edge-cities, suburbanization, McDonaldization -- although widespread realities for many, do not always sit comfortably within mainstream architectural culture. Drawing on diverse theoretical material, from George Bataille on expenditure, to Robert Venturi on decorated sheds, to the AJ Metric Handbook on vehicular turning circles, to texts on sustainable refuse-handling systems, David Eland manages to project an architecture that is both tantalizingly realistic and challengingly critical. Without ever slipping into cynicism or parody, the project is a compelling reminder that architectural skills can be creatively deployed outside their conventional comfort zones.

Tutor(s)
Dr Ioan Augustin
2003
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